View Full Version : New to t. natans

9th April 2005, 16:59
Hi all, I just recently discovered these lil beautis and I was wondering if you guys could give me some basic info?
like...whats the whole deal about them being "illegal" in the states?
how big do they get?
what size tank is appropriat?

9th April 2005, 22:40
All of the countries where they live have laws forbidding their export, that is what makes them "illegal". But sometimes they still get exported as fish (eels). It's not illegal to buy or keep or breed them in the US. Check out
There's an FAQ there.

10th April 2005, 15:31
Hi Jenni,
Technically if they were imported into the country any transactions that take them over a state's border would be a LACY Act violation.
In addition, as they were illegally imported captive breed offspring can still be considered the same as the adults with regard to interstate commerce.

10th April 2005, 16:05
I was under the impression that they weren't banned from being exported per say but are always exported as fish and therefore are not shipped legally, does the same US legislation affect African species like Herpele? or are they ok if they are legally shipped into the US.

11th April 2005, 02:46
Hi Ben,
In the USA,, USF&W enforces all of the exporting countries regulations on legality of animals. They are shipped out (often deliberately) misidentified as an eel. As all of the countries of origin in this case prohibit the export of all vertebrates with the exceptions of tropical fish (and a few other select species such as iguanas and boas from Colombia), these are illegal in the USA.
If the country of origin in Africa exports the caecilians correctly identified with the appropriate paperwork then they are legal in the USA.


(Message edited by Ed on April 11, 2005)

11th April 2005, 17:42
I stand corrected. They are a lot more illegal than I thought.

12th April 2005, 21:55
Greetings All,

With the present state of illegality, what is the risk of T. natans ownership? How would I be penalized if caught? Would I be? Is the pet store owner at risk of penalty? I am rethinking obtaining one. Besides, the one I was to get is still not feeding. Are they in need of protection in their country(ies) of origin?

John R.

12th April 2005, 23:13
Hi John,
At this time, they are very common in their countries of origin but I am unaware of any serious surveys as to populations status (there was one account that indicated that near fishing villages the populations may actually increase but this may be an erroneous observation as the discarding of fish offal may lure the caecilians into a denser concentration.

Well its a federal statute so take it from there as to the possible consequences and yes the pet store owner would be at risk of a penalty.